A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum. The Physically Handicapped Amateur Musical Actors League (PHAMALy) takes on Stephen Sondheim's bawdy musical with energetic glee. Some of director Don Bill's choices may offend--he goes a bit too far over the top for "family" entertainment. But sometimes Bill's experiments work, and rather than hide his performers' disabilities, he uses them. An anti-romantic tale, based on a comedy by the Roman playwright Titus Plautus. Through August 11 at the Space Theatre. Reviewed July 18.
Glengarry Glen Ross. Roundfish Theatre Company's sharp production of David Mamet's Pulitzer Prize winner plumbs the depravities of a group of real estate salesmen whose only ethic is survival of the fittest. Mamet writes with the fluidity of a poet, even using profanity artfully. And a gifted young cast, guided by Richard Cowden's meticulous direction, keeps all eyes riveted on the snakepit. Through July 27 at The Shop. Reviewed July 18.
Oklahoma! Family fare is what the Country Dinner Playhouse serves up along with its buffet, and Rodgers and Hammerstein's groundbreaking tribute to rural values still goes down easy. Uneven though some of the performances are, CDP's Ado Annie and Ali Hakim are both cuter and more interesting than their cinematic counterparts. The dancing is exuberant, and most surprising is how well this bit of Americana holds up--great tunes, amusing lyrics, and a strange love triangle within the innocent (if naive) mythology of the West. Through August 18 at the Country Dinner Playhouse. Reviewed July 11.
Stanton's Garage. Joan Ackermann's lively comedy about breakdowns, automotive and otherwise, gets a terrific slice-of-life staging in a real mechanic's garage--"environmental theater," they call it. Terry Dodd's spirited direction and a talented cast carry home the modest insights of this charming play about strangers who meet in a small-town repair shop. "A pygmy in the rainforest understands his world," the protagonist tells us, but most of us don't. Still, there are creative solutions at hand, even under the hood of a Volvo. Through August 24 at the old Storz Garage. Reviewed July 4.
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For a complete guide to local theatrical productions, see Thrills listings.